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WPS of the Tennessee Valley Hosts a Christmas Tree

WPS of the Tennessee Valley Hosts a Christmas TreeThe West Point Society of the Tennessee Valley's tree is one of 300 live trees, decorating Huntsville’s Big Spring Park for the holiday season, in what has become known as the Tinsel Trail.

Now in its 9th year, Tinsel Trail is a project of Downtown Huntsville, Inc., an organization responsible for the revitalization of Downtown Huntsville through unique events and promotions. This is the first year the Society has participated in this exceedingly popular event.

WPS of the Mid-South Helps Fellow Veterans

WPS of the Mid-South Helps Fellow VeteransThis past spring four members of the West Point Society of the Mid-South helped more than 500 fellow veterans from the Greater Memphis area to receive needed assistance from the Veterans Administration and more than one hundred other governmental agencies, non-profit organizations and local businesses. Each year Operation Stand Down organizers host two major events: a 5K Run and a community-wide Veteran-support event that fulfills their mantra of “Giving Our Veterans a Hand Up, Not a Hand Out.”

Veterans received a full array of medical assistance from VA counselors and medical providers, haircuts from local barbers, assistance from Disabled American Veterans to help them submit disability applications, and a variety of delicious foods, just to name a few of the support activities. The West Pointers, being quite at home with the outdoors, manned the traffic control stations and helped to direct traffic into the former Fairgrounds area where the event was held. Friend of West Point LTC (R) Rick Clausi served on the non-profit organization’s Board of Directors and helped to plan and execute this important event, which has continued to grow each year.

Photo: Seth Palmer ‘04, the Society’s Project Officer, and Tom McCann ‘86, the Society’s Treasurer

The West Point Society had also supported Operation Stand Down by participating in their annual 5K Run. The Society’s Friend of West Point and designated bag piper Rick Clausi piped the runners across and back to the finish line. The fleet-footed Charlie Smithers ’79, (Society VP) was an early finisher, beating many participants much younger. The solid stepping Rob Williamson ’73, (Society President) was proud to finish.

WPS of Northwest Florida Support Congressional College Fair

WPS of Northwest Florida Support Congressional College FairMembers of the West Point Society of Northwest Florida came out in force to support a recent Congressional College Fair held at Navarre High School.

Representatives from all service academies, Army ROTC and Marion Military Institute made presentations to several hundred students and then they met individually to find out the steps necessary to gain admission to West Point and the other schools.

The United States Military Academy at West Point had the largest number of representatives and everyone was gainfully employed answering questions and explaining the benefits of a West Point education.

Photo: (l to r) Chris Beam, Chris McCall, Chuck Merkel, Bob Hixson, Jennifer Hawkins, Buck James

WPS of Northwest Florida Attend COL Donlon's Ceremony

This past summer members of the West Point Society of Northwest Florida were honored to be invited to attend the unveiling of a monument to honor Medal of Honor recipient, COL (R) Roger H. C. Donlon and the retirement of his medal for a permanent display in the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Headquarters Building. All attendees agreed it was an honor just to be in his presence.

COL and Mrs. Donlon and COL Patrick T. Colloton, commander of the 7th SF Group

WPS of Western New York Hosts Cadets for Dinner

WPS of Western New York Hosts Cadets for DinnerThe West Point Society of Western New York members Tyrone Allen ‘83, his wife Patrice, and Mark Spelman ‘68 had the opportunity to link up with West Point Cadets who were in the area attending the National Society of Black Engineers East Regional Conference. All 13 cadet attendees joined the society hosts at the famous Anchor Bar in Downtown Buffalo for a dinner featuring buffalo chicken wings. A few die-hards even attempted the atomic suicidal wings.

WPS of the Tennessee Valley Army-Air Force Game Viewing

WPS of the Tennessee Valley Army-Air Force Game ViewingOver 100 members of the West Point Society of the Tennessee Valley (WPSTV) gathered at the Rocket Republic Brewing Company in Madison, AL, on November 2 to watch the Army-Air Force game. While the Falcons unfortunately won the game, it wasn’t because of a lack of cheering support of the Black Knights by all WPSTV attendees (except for a few USAFA grads who also watched the game with them). All enjoyed the potluck brunch, camaraderie and the Rocket Republic Brewing products.

WPS of Annapolis 31st Annual H.S. Leadership Awards

The West Point Society of Annapolis (WPSOA) held its 31st annual High School Leadership Awards Brunch on November 10, 2019. This brunch formally recognizes outstanding local high school seniors for their academic, athletic and community service leadership accomplishments. Seniors from eight local high schools were recognized at a brunch held in their honor at Hella's Restaurant, Millersville, Maryland. John Nicodemus '73 presided over the event which was attended by approximately 25 people.

Photo: 2019 WPS of Annapolis High School Leadership Award recipients, their school administrators and John Nicodemus '73

WPS of Fort Bragg – Sand Hills Monthy Dinner

WPS of Fort Bragg – Sand Hills Monthy DinnerThe West Point Society of Fort Bragg – Sand Hills met tonight for their monthly First Monday dinner at Logan's Steak House in Fayetteville, NC. Society president Mike Karaman '79, opened proceedings with his usual warm welcome to a reinforced platoon of grads, parents of cadets, and FOWPs (Friends of West Point). With Army football on everyone's mind, Mike did a credible job presenting what he had researched about key injuries, Army's routine, heroic "no-quit-in-us" performance… and pointing out that, yes, we'll be bowl eligible if we run the table; but, more importantly, the season will be a booming success because we will have beaten Navy! He also announced the 12/14 Beat Navy Watch Party at The Tap House, Jon Gerold's '91 and Doug Kim's '94 now-famous downtown bar and grill. Founder's Day planning starts in December, so Mike encouraged folks to contact Bob Spier '79 and offer help. Effective now, sign-ups for all events will be via their new, high-speed/low-drag SallyPort portal. A good time was, yet again, had by all.

WPS of The Mid-South Hone Weapons Skills

Several members of the West Point Society of the Mid-South and their guests, including a few family members, ventured to northern Mississippi at the private range of a retired Special Forces officer to enjoy West Point camaraderie and hone weapons handling skills. This first-ever Society range firing event featured a two-hundred-yard forested range for discharging an arsenal of personal weapons as well as opportunities for participants to fire the host’s 1750-era muzzle loaded rifle and learn to throw a tomahawk.

The experience not only re-ignited the “warrior spirit”, but it also rekindled friendships through commonly shared respect for each other, for West Point, and for basic Soldiering skills. The firing line sent a lot of hot metal down range…generally into the targets! Most everyone left with sore shoulders, new tales about how the targets had become so much “smaller” over the years, and a new appreciation for what Continental Soldiers had to contend with to win our Nation’s first war. This unique event was made possible through the leadership of COL (R) Charlie Smithers ’79, and the coordination of a Friend of West Point LTC (R) Rick Clausi with his friend and owner of the range Brad Randall.

Grads in the Photo: front row: (last two on the right) Seth Palmer ’04, and Charlie Smithers ’79; back row: (first three on left) Tom Hood ’86; Rob Williamson ’73; and Dr. John Brophy ’79

WPS of Birmingham and Central Alabama Hosts Army Golf

WPS of Birmingham and Central Alabama Hosts Army GolfRecently the West Point Society of Birmingham and Central Alabama hosted cadets from the Army West Point Golf team. They genuinely enjoyed hosting these fine young men Sunday night after a day of golf and preparing for Alabama's golf team on Tuesday. They were at the home of Rex Blair '97 and his family of 8.

WPS of the Tennessee Valley Night at the Museum

On August 24 the West Point Society of the Tennessee Valley (WPSTV) hosted about 60 society members and guests at the Huntsville Museum of Art to view three art exhibits focused on some key events of the ‘60s in the USA.

1st: Vietnam: The Real War - An exhibition of the best of the Associated Press's photographic art of the Vietnam War.
2nd: Celebrating the ‘60s - An exhibition of the Pop Art and Photo-realism of the '60s featuring Andy Warhol and Richard Estes
3rd: Peace, Love, Rock and Roll: Woodstock - A photo exhibition of the Woodstock Music Festival of 1969 in three galleries.

Attendees toured the exhibits and enjoyed heavy hors d’oeuvres by Narvell during the 6 - 9 pm event. All in attendance enjoyed the evening which has become a yearly society event.

Photo: Ann Crawford (wife of Bill Crawford '80), Macy Brown '67 with wife Laura and Lisa Johnson '93 touring the Vietnam War exhibit

WPS of Washington End of Summer Picnic

WPS of Washington End of Summer PicnicEvery year the West Point Society of Washington has an end of summer picnic to vote on critical society issues, inform the society members and vote any elected officers. This years picnic was at the Bistro at Russell Landing on Joint Base Lewis-McChord's American Lake. After a social hour, they gathered together where President Kent Troy '81, who had just returned from the 2019 AOG Leaders Conference, provided a short synopsis of activities, briefings and shared stories.

At the end of the remarks, Kent added the 2019 Distinguished Society Award to the Society banner. This society has received this award every year since 1994. After the presentation the society, at large, had one item for a vote and that was to change the society name from "The West Point of WA and Puget Sound" to simply "The West Point Society of Washington". After following Roberts Rules of order, the society unanimously voted to approve the new name and the new banner was then displayed for all to see. After this formal portion of the picnic, they all enjoyed beef and pork brisket prepared by "D-Man" and continued to connect, reconnect and share stories. Overall, a very successful picnic.

WPS of Annapolis Conduct Affirmation Ceremony

The West Point Society of Annapolis (WPSOA) and members of the Class of 1971 (50-year Affiliation Class) conducted an Affirmation Ceremony for the seven exchange cadets from the Class of 2021 on September 3. The exchange cadets are at the USNA for the Fall semester and were unable to join their class in their Affirmation Ceremony held at West Point.

The ceremony took place at O'Brien's Oyster Bar & Seafood Tavern in Annapolis. WPSOA President Steve Heinecke '77 began the ceremony by explaining the significance of the Affirmation Ceremony. Steve then introduced Frank Kendall '71, former Under Secretary of Defense, who the addressed the assemblage on a variety of topics including military technology, Russian and Chinese threats and the military challenges likely to face the exchange cadets. Mr. Kendall then administered the Oath of Affirmation to the exchange cadets, which was followed by members of the Class of 1971 congratulating the cadets and presenting them with their Commemorative Coins. The assemblage then congratulated the cadets and wished them well.

WPS of Annapolis Annual Exchange Cadet Welcome Picnic

WPS of Annapolis Annual Exchange Cadet Welcome PicnicSunday August 25 the West Point Society of Annapolis (WPSOA) held its annual welcome picnic at the Fairwinds Community Pavilion, Severna Park, MD, to welcome the seven exchange cadets from the class of 2021 to the Annapolis area. The exchange cadets will spend the fall semester at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. In all, more than 50 guests attended the event and welcomed the cadets who enjoyed a picnic consisting of Mission BBQ meats and sides, as well as salads, drinks and desserts provided by the attendees. WPSOA President Steve Heinecke addressed the assemblage, commented on the society's 33-year history and its recently being named a Distinguished Society for the 21st consecutive year. Steve then explained the annual picnic tradition and asked the cadets to introduce themselves. A great time was enjoyed by all attendees.

Photo: From left to right, Cadets Phil Federico, Nathan Ault, Matt Scully, Connor Fischer, Andrew Bowlus, Bryce Ott and Stone Stevens

WPS of San Francisco Summer Picnic

WPS of San Francisco Summer PicnicThe West Point Society of San Francisco recently held the annual summer picnic. There were nearly 100 people in attendance, 38 attending from the Class of 1959 – 1997 (including adult guests) and 51 attending from the Class of 2003 – Present. They had a great time, with great food recalling their best West Point stories.

WPS of Michigan Summer Picnic and Cannon Dedication

WPS of Michigan Summer Picnic and Cannon DedicationThe West Point Society of Michigan celebrated a summer picnic and dedication of several Civil War era Parrot Cannons on August 17, 2019 at historic Fort Wayne in Detroit, Michigan. The forts officers mess hall was decorated and hosted both a historical review of the fort by the Detroit Historical Society as well as hosted almost 60 graduates, families, and volunteers for a picnic. The event began with a review of the fort's history by David Jamroz and the Detroit Historical Society. After a short briefing, a full tour of the battlements and buildings occurred, culminating in a cannon dedication ceremony complete with re-enactors from the Civil War era who fired several of the parrot rifles, much to the crowd's delight. The Master of Ceremonies for the day was Jim Suhay '66. Major planning committee members were Chris Haag '07 and David Jamroz

WPS of Washington Welcoming Cadets

The West Point Society of Washington has been busy this year hosting cadets. On June 21 they hosted a social for session two and three for cadets to meet with old grads in the area stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM).

The society again hosted a social for session three and four for cadets to meet with JBLM stationed old grads on July 26.

Most recently, Jen and John Higgins ’87 opened their home to cadets as well as old grads to feast and watch the Blue Angles the first weekend in August for the Seattle Sea Fair. The Seattle Sea Fair is the biggest event of the year in Seattle.

Photo: Cadets and Old Grads gather at the Higgins home

WPS of the Tennessee Valley Hosts Cadets on AIAD

The West Point Society of the Tennessee Valley (WPSTV) welcomed 16 USMA Cadets and 1 USAFA Cadet to the Huntsville area during their Academic Individual Advanced Development (AIAD) internships in June and July. Society Officers and their spouses hosted dinners during which Cadets got to learn a bit about Society operations and some Old Grads got to socialize with future members of the Long Gray Line. This is the third year that WPSTV has conducted these AIAD Cadet social interactions; and based on positive feedback from both Cadets and Society members, they will continue.

Photo: Cadets Layne Erickson, James Abercrombie, Nikita Pereverzin, Chase Miller and Hannah Potter at dinner with WPSTV members

WPS of Fort Bragg/Sand Hills Hosts CTLT Cadets

Fourteen West Point Cows and Firsties, at Bragg for Cadet Troop Leading Training attended CTLT reception hosted by the West Point Society of Fort Bragg/Sand Hills in mid-July. Society president Mike '79 and Nancy Karaman have been hosting these events for years.

In the words of Jeff Donaldson '69 "these young men and women are not the cream of American youth, then I will eat your BEAT NAVY sweatshirt. They have no observable flaws. They are fit, smart, courteous, and oh-so-confident. They present as masters of all they survey but are respectful to a fault … even paying rapt attention to the odd Old Corps story. They ask us questions, then listen intently to our answers. After speaking with six or eight of them, John Tussing '92 and I looked at each other and agreed there was an interesting issue surfacing. It seems at least half of the youngsters had been told they would be with one branch but, upon arrival, ended up with another. Since the whole CTLT idea (we thought) was to afford cadets experience in their preferred branches, this seemed clearly out of order. Maybe so, but it did not faze the kids a bit. When we asked, the Infantry files just grinned and said, "No, Sir … Quartermaster is fine!" MI … with Field Artillery? "No problem, Sir. Soldiers are Soldiers." Leave it at this: sleep well tonight, America. West Point's classes of '20 and '21 will be securing our future."

WPS of the Space Coast Visit the Muscle Car Museum

The West Point Society of the Space Coast (WPSSC FL-7) joined with the U.S. Army Special Forces Association, Chapter 74 in a visit to the American Muscle Car Museum earlier this year. Located in Melbourne, Florida, this 123,000 square foot complex houses the amazing collection of Mr. Mark Pieloch. The collection includes over 300 cars that range from classic 1950s to 1970's American muscle cars, to modern "sophisticated" muscle like a 2019 Ford GT. The 501(c)3 museum it is not open to the public but is open to host numerous non-profit fundraisers, car activities, and educational tours for school-age children. In addition, every year Mr. Pieloch opens the facility to all veterans on Veterans Day. The WPSSC was very fortunate to be allowed to schedule their special event which was attended by over 30 members including "Oldest Grad" COL Keith Ball '46 and his wife Peggy in their Army Jerseys.

WPS of the Space Coast Founders Day

The West Point Society of the Space Coast (WPSSC FL7) was honored to welcome LTG Robert Caslen ‘75 59th Superintendent of the United States Military Academy, as their Guest Speaker for our Founders Day Celebration on March 28, 2019. The event was held at Colony Hall at the Indian River Colony Club in Melbourne, Florida. Over 90 members and their guests attended this special event.

Photo: "Oldest Grad" COL Keith Ball '46 and "Youngest Grad" Jesse Cranford-Mancini '01, inspect the cake while WPSSC Activities Officer Kevin McKeown '77 brings the saber for cutting the cake

WPS of Hampton Roads Founders Day Luncheon

The West Point Society of Hampton Roads celebrated Founders Day at the Chamberlin ballroom at Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia. Society Past President Bob Alexander '68 served as the Master of Ceremonies for the event MG Lew Irwin '86, Commandant of the Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA served as our guest speaker for the event. The Grayest Graduate was John Shuford '65, and the Greenest Graduate was CPT Eric Reder '13.

The event with an invocation, toasts, and a toast to absent comrades. John Shuford '65 spoke about what it was like to be a cadet as a Corps Squad athlete and the challenges he faced as an incoming cadet hailing from a small town in the Carolinas. CPT Eric Reder '13, followed suite with a poem about his time as a cadet and how West Point has both changed and remained the same. Both speakers were both provided some laughs and insightful thoughts about the Academy.

MG Irwin provided an update on his perspective on how new graduates can have impact at the strategic level and how new challenges in cyber, space and social media have an influence on the force today. All departed the event a bit prouder to be West Pointers.

Left to Right – Society President - Rich Naigle '77, Grayest Graduate - John Shuford '65, Greenest Graduate - CPT Eric Reder '13, Guest Speaker - MG Lew Irwin '86, and Past President - Bob Alexander '68

WPS of Central Florida Welcome the Caslens

The West Point Society of Central Florida hosted a welcome reception for LTG (R) Robert L. Caslen Jr. and his wife Shelly on May 24th at the Country Club of Orlando. The reception was held to welcome the Caslen Family to Central Florida and to honor one of West Point's most recent Distinguished Graduates.

The evening included a social hour with appetizers and drinks where the attendees got a chance to visit with the Caslens and other graduates. Pat Henson '05 and Caleb Brown '04, who planned the event were pleased with the attendance and the many positive comments from all those who attended.

The evening concluded with Jim Young '78 introducing LTG (R) Robert L. Caslen for some brief comments. After the event, many of the attendees went out to the patio for a group picture with the Caslens. Photos of the event can be here: https://wpscf.org/gallery/index.php?/category/24.

WPS of Hampton Roads Picnic & Meet and Greet

WPS of Hampton Roads Picnic & Meet and GreetThe West Point Society of Hampton Roads hosted an Army 244th Birthday Party Picnic / West Point Class of 2023 Meet and Greet at Harbor Park in Norfolk, Virginia on June 16. Seven Hampton Roads incoming cadet candidates were invited and four attended the event. The weather was perfect and to top it off, the home team won 1-0 to end a three-game losing streak.

Society President Rich Naigle ’77 welcomed attendees to the event and introduced the cadets to attendees when the event kicked off. Attendees ate lunch before the ceremony to celebrate the 244th Birthday of the United States Army.

Les Kayanan ’77 (pictured with the Army cake and saber) traveled from Williamsburg to participate. The honor of cutting the cake was granted to the grayest grad present, John Gately ’73. John invited the greenest graduate present, Elizabeth VanVelzen ’99, to share the cake-cutting honor. Society Treasurer, Joy Gibbon ’83, presented scholarship checks to the parents after the cake-cutting.

The Norfolk Tides invited the incoming cadet candidates onto the field to be recognized. The Norfolk Tides fans gave a standing ovation to those present for on-field recognition: Isabelle Fontana, William Oudekerk and Thomas Hale and acknowledging those that could not attend.

WPS Fort Bragg/Sandhills CTLT Reception

West Point Society of Fort Bragg/Sandhills president Mike Karaman ’79, along with his wife, Nancy, opened their home to yet another squad of Cadet Troop Leader Training (CTLT) Cows and Firsties. Mike and Nancy have been sponsoring these receptions for years – albeit with some mouth-watering contributions from Society Master Chefs – and the cadets, always famished, seem to enjoy themselves.

Here is what Jeff Donaldson '69 had to say about it:

"This time we had fewer cadets than usual, thanks to field training and units prepping for deployment; but the cornhole competition – using gen-u-ine AOG Gift Shop cornholes and beanbags – was NCAA Final Four caliber; the pot-luck gourmet cuisine was off-the-page; and the conversation stimulating... apparently for both sides. The stories these youngsters tell, and the questions they ask, always guarantee terrific afternoons. No doubt about it, a good time was had by all... although seeing Alma Mater's glorious insignia emblazoned on cornhole equipment did take a bit of, well, adjustment."

WPS of Denver Q&A with 2023 Cadet Candidates

WPS of Denver Q&A with 2023 Cadet CandidatesBruce Boevers, Jim Burke, and Dave Jackson, from the Class of '73 had the pleasure to talk to the parents and their fifty-year affiliate cadet candidates from Colorado on Saturday June 15. As a part of Denver's annual candidate "send off," they relayed the upcoming R-day events and opened it up to Q&A. A dozen candidates were present. Assisting in the Q&A was cadet from Class of '22, and a recent grad.

WPS of Upstate South Carolina Hosts Buddie

On June 10, the West Point Society of Upstate South Carolina hosted a Mike Buddie Hail to Army and Farewell from Greenville. Roughly twenty society members came out to hail Mike and his wife Traci into the Army team and Farewell them off from Greenville to West Point. Everyone had a great time getting to know USMA's newest teammates. Go Army! Beat Navy!

WPS of Southwest Virginia ’23 Send Off

On May 18 the West Point Society of Southwest Virginia, in conjunction with local USNA grads, hosted their annual All Academy Send-Off at the home of Drs. Kevin and Nancy Dye (parents of MAJ Scott Dye '07) which overlooks the Roanoke valley in Rockledge on May 18. Soon-to-be USMA cadet candidates Lane Zuchowksi (Christiansburg, VA) and Aleck DiSalvo (Cave Spring, VA) were feted along with three young lads heading to USNA. We wish them all the best in their future careers.

WPS of Upstate South Carolina Presents Leadership Award

David Phelan '70 recently awarded the West Point Leadership Award on behalf of the West Point Society of Upstate South Carolina to Mitavier Antonio Tate of McCormkick High School in McCormick, SC. The award is presented to high school students that display leadership in their school and provides awareness of the mission of the United States Military Academy. Congratulations to Mitavier on the award!

WPS of Fort Bragg-sandhills Hosts Rising Firsties

WPS of Fort Bragg-sandhills Hosts Rising FirstiesThe West Point Society Fort Bragg-Sandhills was honored to host the Army West Point Football Team's rising Firsties recently. They were at Fort Bragg for CTLT and accepted an invitation for a reception at Society president Mike and Nancy Karama 's home.

Here is what Mike had to say about the visit:

"Bottom line: these young men displayed precisely the qualities every Heart in Gray hopes their Army Team players would have: gentlemanliness, brains, school spirit, professional bearing … and good ol' American patriotism. We asked the same questions you would have asked, then stood back and relished the answers. How do you fit summer football into CTLT? Two daily strength sessions (early and late), a team run, and a full day of work with airborne units in between. What's next season look like, and what about … Michigan? Tough; but did you see the Oklahoma game? [Grins all around.] We're looking forward to it! Opponents ever ask how you handle academics, military, AND football? [Sideways glances, suppressed smiles] Hardly. Last season, one defensive line did snarl a wish that we'd all deploy and disappear. We just grinned and added another touchdown."

"Army Football's new Head Strength Coach, Conor Hughes, accompanied the team. How do you like the job? "I'd be happy to spend the rest of my career with these young men. And yes, quote me!""

"It was 't just one-sided Q&A, however. All evening, one could see small knots of large youngsters surrounding [much] smaller old grads. Our Society includes veterans of some interesting organizations, a fact not lost on these cadets. Their career questions for us were intelligent, their listening intense. You would have been as proud of them as we were. Next time you hear the term "America's Team," just smile and know that The Long Gray Line's football team has earned that title in many more ways than one."

WPS of the Tennessee Valley Celebrates the 150th of WPAOG

Roughly 75 members of the West Point Society of the Tennessee Valley and their families attended a night at the Huntsville U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum on Saturday May 18, Attendees received a free shot glass embossed with the society's logo and filled with whiskey from Clayton Hinchman ’05, Black Patch Distillery. Together they all then toasted the 150th Anniversary of the West Point Association of Graduates followed by a delicious BBQ dinner provided by the society.

WPS of the Tennessee Valley at the Huntsville Veterans Memorial

The West Point Society of the Tennessee Valley’s President and Vice President, Gary Stewart ’66 and Steve Raymond ’90 respectively, presented a society wreath during Huntsville’s Memorial Day ceremonies at the city’s Veterans Memorial. About 36 memorial wreaths were presented during the hour-long ceremony with Redstone Arsenal’s General Gus Perna, Commander Army Material Command, as the guest speaker. The ceremonies were well-attended despite a hot and humid day reaching 96 degrees.

WPS of Singapore Celebrates Founders Day

The West Point Society of Singapore celebrated Founders Day and AOG's 150th Anniversary. The Guest of Honor for the event was Minister Ng Chee Meng (USAFA '91 who is the Minister in the Prime Minister Office and Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC).

The graduates reaffirmed the traditional values of Duty, Honor, Country and a life of service and sacrifice while taking pride in their achievements for having graduated from the most prestigious military institution. It was a good time for graduates to connect with each other to forge a strong bond as a community. Also present were the parents and friends of Singaporean Cadets Wei Kang Soon '20 and Li Hao Tan '22.

The evening ended with the singing of the Alma Mater with many looking forward to the next WPSOS gathering.

WPS of the Mid-Hudson Region Holds Annual Picnic

The West Point Society of the Mid-Hudson Region, located at West Point, held its annual picnic on Saturday May 11 at Round Pond Recreation Area. The picnic, held each May over many years, welcomes our incoming cadets from the region. Over 50 people consisting of, class of 2023 members, their parents, old grads, and members of the Parents Club of West Point, enjoyed some traditional picnic fare at the Bonneville Cabin. After an inspirational and welcoming address by COL Holly West '91, the incoming cadet candidates were briefed by several upperclassmen. The parents were addressed by parents of current cadets as to just how their lives will change living near the Academy.

COL West addressing Class of 2023 members and their families

WPS of Monticello Hosts an All-Academies Spring Golf Outing

The West Point Society of Monticello hosted the spring All-Academies Golf Outing Wednesday May 8 at Glenmore Country Club. It was a beautiful day and the Glenmore staff did an excellent job managing the event.

Thirty-one players participated and represented Army (12), Navy (16) and Air Force (3). Prizes were awarded for four closest-to-the-pin shots and Army placed first with two of the awards (Bob Lamb '78 and Rob Schuett '76). Air Force and Navy managed one award each. First through third place prizes were also awarded for highest Stableford scores for two-person teams.

With considerably more teams than Army or Air Force, Navy naturally took the top two positions and Army took third place. In fact, Army had two teams tied for third (Bill Pavlick '72 / Ken Young '95 and Len Toledo '78 / Bob Lamb '78). Toledo/Lamb won on a scorecard playoff.

The golf was outstanding, the banquet afterwards scrumptious and the camaraderie priceless.

WPS of The Tennessee Valley Founders Day

Roughly 150 members and guests, including four Class of 2023 candidates and their family members attended the West Point Society of the Tennessee Valley Founders Day Dinner on April 13. The theme honored the 150th Anniversary of the West Point Association of Graduates (WPAOG). The Guest Speaker was Colonel Archie Bates '96, an Academy Professor and Director of Management Programs in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership. Colonel Bates met with the Class of 2023 candidates immediately prior to the dinner along with members of their 50-year affiliation class from 1973. The Society inducted Mr. Christopher Madkour, Director of the Huntsville Museum of Art, as a Friend of West Point into its membership. He attended the dinner, accepted his membership certificate and was warmly welcomed by the audience. The evening's Silent Auction was a great success raising several thousand dollars which will be donated to the Academy. The society's plans include a May BBQ dinner at the Huntsville Veterans Museum to further celebrate the WPAOG's 150th Anniversary and an August event at the Huntsville Museum of Art wherein members will be able to view the museum's exhibit "Vietnam: the Real War - Photographs from the Associated Press".

Photo: Gary Stewart '66 WPSTV President with COL Archie Bates '96

WPS of Monticello 2018 Annual Business Meeting

The West Point Society of Monticello held its annual Business Meeting at the Charlottesville City Space meeting facility on Sunday, December 2, 2018. The key agenda items included review of their financial report, election of Directors to serve three-year terms, review of 2018 Society activities, and to preview upcoming 2019 events. Newly elected Directors included Fred McConville '59, Larry Neal '65, Phil Clark '69, and Bill Pavlick '72. A required number was established based upon members attending and proxies. As noted in the attached photo Flat Cullum was also present.

WPS of New Jersey Founders Day Dinner

WPS of New Jersey Founders Day DinnerThe West Point Society of New Jersey held its annual Founders Day Dinner on Saturday March 23 at the Beacon Hill Country Club in Atlantic Highlands, NJ. There were 107 guests in attendance. The oldest Grad was Vincent J. Longo '57 and the youngest was 1LT Sarah Lowy '15. The guest speaker for the evening was BG Creighton W. Abrams, Jr, Executive Director, Army Historical Association. The featured guests were 16 Society-sponsored newly offered members of the incoming class of 2023 with their families. Football tickets, a golf foursome, two Army HOOAH Baskets, and a special homemade Cadet Christmas stocking were raffled off. A good time was had by all!

WPS of Upstate South Carolina Celebrates Founders Day

The West Point Society of Upstate South Carolina held its Founders Day Celebration on March 16 in Greenville, SC. The evening was a great night of graduates coming together to fill their glasses, stand up in a row, and sing sentimentally about their kind rockbound highland home. One of the highlights was the speech given by the Master of the Sword, COL Gist. The WPSUSC thanks him for his words and the connection he to the faculty and staff at West Point that he created.

WPS of the Northern Chesapeake Founders Day

WPS of the Northern Chesapeake Founders DayThe West Point Society of the Northern Chesapeake held its annual Founders Day on March 15, 2019 in Bel Air, MD. They were honored to have two guest speakers who both captivated the audience with their stories. LTC Dave Siry '94, Director of West Point's Center for Oral History, kicked off the event with a talk about the interviews he has captured over the years. COL(R) Shane Kimbrough '89, current NASA Astronaut, discussed his career as an astronaut and his recent mission at the Commander of the International Space Station.

Photo: Shane with 1989 classmates (from left to right), Sherri Langston, LTC Jeff Kyburz, Pam Silcox, and Shane Kimbrough

WPS of Annapolis & the Northern Chesapeake Support Visiting Army Lacrosse

On April 13, 2019, the Army Women's and Men's Lacrosse Teams visited Annapolis to play their counterpart Navy Lacrosse teams in a double-header event. In the first game, the Army women came out on the short end of a 21-8 game to a nationally ranked (#14) Navy team but showed grit and considerable promise that will improve with time and experience. The West Point Society of Annapolis assisted the Army Women's Lacrosse Team parents in hosting a post-game tailgate at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland. In all, the team and about 150 attendees enjoyed a wonderful buffet provided by Mission BBQ.

Following the women's game, the nationally ranked (#20) Army men took the field and played a very competitive Navy team to a 9-8 overtime victory. The game marked the 100th meeting for Army-Navy Lacrosse. Working together, the West Point Societies of the Northern Chesapeake and Annapolis teamed with the Army Men's Lacrosse Team parents to host a large celebratory tailgate. In all, some 300 attendees enjoyed grilling and home-cooked meals by the parents, and a Papa John's Pizza and Chick-fil-A chicken buffet provided by the two societies for the victorious team.

WPS of South Texas Celebrates Founders Day

WPS of South Texas Celebrates Founders DayThe West Point Society of South Texas (WPSST) had it Founders Day celebration on March 23, 2019 at the San Antonio Country Club. The Deputy Commandant of Cadets, COL Jason Halloren was the guest speaker. There was a great turnout with approximately 200 people in attendance.

WPS of Columbia Celebrates Founders Day

WPS of Columbia Celebrates Founders DayThe West Point Society of Columbia celebrated Founders Day on February 23 at the Capital City Club in Columbia, South Carolina. The event was well attended by local Academy Graduates, members of the West Point Parents Club, and cadet candidates. Over 90 guests, from youngest graduate, 2LT Taylor Gaff '18, to oldest graduate, LTG(R) John F. Wall '56 attended and much positive feedback has been received regarding the event. Charlie Eadie '07, Society President, filled the role of Master of Ceremonies.

Following opening remarks, Dr. Richard Conant, a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at USC delivered a moving a cappella performance of the Nation Anthem. Those gathered were then led in a collective reading of the Cadet Prayer. Guests participated in traditional toasts, including one given in remembrance of our fallen service-members. For their guest speaker the Society was honored to have CSM Jack Love, the 20th Command Sergeant Major at USMA, give a very energetic talk about how West Point is preparing tomorrow's leaders to solve undefined problems. Before concluding the event, those assembled joined voices and sang the Alma Mater. A special thanks to 1LTs Brian Hapeman '15 and Alex Jensen '15 for their tireless effort in coordinating this year's Founders Day.

WPS of Birmingham and Central Alabama Founders Day

WPS of Birmingham and Central Alabama Founders DayThe West Point Society of Birmingham and Central Alabama held its annual Founders Day celebration on Friday April 5, 2019. There were 108 grads and guests in attendance to hear COL Greg Boylan '94 discuss the future construction plans for the Academy. Congressman Gary Palmer was on hand to congratulate the 24 Marion Military Institution Cadets on their appointments to West Point. LTG Charles "Chick" Cleveland '49 was the Oldest Grad in attendance and they heard from Mr. Alex Farinelli '10 the Youngest Grad

WPS of Central Ohio Founders Day

WPS of Central Ohio Founders DayThe West Point Society of Central Ohio celebrated Founders Day with a brunch at the Worthington Hills CC on Sunday, 24 March. The guest speaker was BG Steve Gilland '90, the 77th Commandant of Cadets.

Six Cadet Candidates and their parents attended the pre-brunch Meet and Greet with BG Gilland and WPSCO Members. In addition to USMA Graduates and family members, there were graduates of USNA, USAFA, and several Parents Club members and Friends of West Point, totaling 112 people, in attendance. Dr. DeBow Freed '46 was the oldest graduate in attendance, while 2 members of the Class of 2010, James McKinney and Phillip Baweja, were the youngest.

After the Benediction by Nelson French '48 and the traditional toasts, WPSCO President Don Kopinski '79 gave an update on the Society's past year. Dr. Freed then shared some thoughts with the group.

After brunch, BG Gilland provided an excellent update on the current state of affairs at West Point. He discussed how West Point is modernizing an infrastructure that dates back to the late 1800's through a series of construction projects, some of which are funded by the Army and some by donor funds. He also shared the variety of opportunities available to Cadets today, many due to private funding. He highlighted how these opportunities are creating outstanding future leaders.

After his presentation, BG Gilland and Don Kopinski inducted Ben and Barbara McVay, parents of Sean McVay '17, as Friends of West Point. The Founders Day celebration ended with the singing of the Alma Mater, and a rousing "BEAT NAVY!"

WPS of the Mid-Hudson Region Holds Its Founders Day at West Point

The West Point Society of the Mid-Hudson Region located at West Point held its Founders Day celebration of the 217th birthday of the founding of the United States Military Academy on Friday evening March 29. The event was held at the Herbert Hall Alumni Center in the Great Hall. About 70 graduates and friends of USMA attended for a wonderful tradition-filled evening. All enjoyed the entertainment of the Knight Caps contingent of the Cadet Glee Club (pictured) as well as some great food and drink.

The speaker was Mr. Daniel Milton, Director of Research for the Combating Terrorism Center located at the Academy. All were riveted with his eye-opening address. Pat Ortland '82 presented an informative tribute to the Association of Graduates on our 150th anniversary.

In attendance were some incoming members of The Long Gray Line as they welcomed the Class of 2023.

WPS of Upstate South Carolina Hosts Army Crew BBQ

The West Point Society of Upstate South Carolina hosted the Army Crew Team for a Barbeque during their trip to Clemson, SC for spring break training on March 12. The Barbeque was a very successful event. There were ten grads plus a handful of wives and a daughter attendance. The cadets were all very thankful for the society providing the Barbeque. One cadet even remarked she was looking forward to the Barbeque to get some southern sweet tea.

The Cape Fear WPS Celebrates Founders Day

The Cape Fear WPS Celebrates Founders DayThe Cape Fear West Point Society held its annual Founders Day celebration on March 16 at the Surf Club, Wrightsville Beach, recognizing the United States Military Academy (USMA), West Point's founding in 1802. Addressing the Society members was guest speaker Brigadier General Jennifer G. Buckner '90, currently the Director of Cyber, Electronic Warfare, and Information Operations, Headquarters Department of the Army. As a career intelligence officer, BG Buckner has held command and staff positions across all levels of the Army with assignments in the United States, the Republic of Korea, Puerto Rico, and Iraq. As an additional segment of the program, the members celebrated the 150 Year Anniversary of WPAOG.

Pictured is BG Jennifer Buckner receiving a Cape Fear Area remembrance, presented by COL (R) John R. Thomas, President, Cape Fear West Point Society.

WPS of the San Francisco Bay Area Founders Day

WPS of the San Francisco Bay Area Founders DayRecently the West Point Society of the San Francisco Bay Area celebrated Founders Day. The dinner was held at the Claremont Country Club and 190 people attended. The Guest Speaker was Mark McLaughlin '88, Vice Chairman of Palo Alto Networks. Mark did an excellent job speaking of Cyber Security. He was introduced by Ken Gonzalez '91, who is also in the Cyber Security industry. The comments of the Youngest Grad were made by Allison Ellerson '16, and the comments of the Oldest Grad were made by Jack Hug '60. Ken, Mark, Nina, Dave and David | Youngest (Allison Ellerson '16) and Oldest ( Jack Hug '60)  Grads.

WPS of Annapolis 33rd Annual Founders Day Celebration

WPS of Annapolis 33rd Annual Founders Day CelebrationThe West Point Society of Annapolis (WPSOA) held its 33rd annual Founders Day celebration on Saturday March 16, 2019. The event was held at Café Mezzanotte, Severna Park, MD, and was attended by 52 WPSOA members and guests, including three ladies from the WPAOG and two local New Cadet Candidates. During the Benny Havens Hour preceding the dinner, BG Omar J. Jones IV '92, Chief, US Army Public Affairs, and the WPSOA jointly hosted a reception for the New Cadet Candidates and their families.

Prior to introducing the Distinguished Guest Speaker, WPSOA President, Steve Heinecke '77, discussed the status and purpose of the WPSOA and introduced the eldest (Bob Stroud '68) and youngest (John Brengle '00) grads, who presented amusing stories of their active duty and cadet experiences. Nicole Vitale, WPAOG, then spoke about the 150th anniversary of the WPAOG. Steve Heinecke introduced BG Jones who provided an update on the future of the US Army, as well as discussing changes in the Corps of Cadets. Interestingly, BG Jones was an exchange cadet at the Naval Academy in the Fall of 1990. His son, Ben '20, was also in attendance and spoke of his cadet experiences as well as his experiences as an exchange cadet while at the Naval Academy this past Fall. Following BG Jones' presentation, he was given a deck prism as a WPSOA "thank you" gift.

WPS of the Bluegrass Founders Day Dinner

The West Point Society of the Bluegrass held its annual Founders Day dinner at Portofino in Lexington, KY on Friday March 15, 2019. Forty-nine people attended including two accepted candidates for the Class of 2023 and their parents. The festivities began with a Benny Havens cocktail hour and a slide show of photos of the attendees as Cadets or while in the Army.

After the usual round of toasts, the group watched a video from the Superintendent, followed by dinner. Click here to view the program.

Colonel Andrew Cecil '06. DCO, Army Reserve Aviation Command, Ft. Knox was the guest speaker. His remarks included his time as a Cadet and his limited knowledge of the Reserves when he joined the Army. He went on to explain the vital role of the Reserves to the TOTAL ARMY, followed by the importance of graduates continuing their service as a Reservist to maximize their experience and contributions to national defense.

Frank Cannavo '70 was presented a Bronze Star medal for his Vietnam service which he never received, because of subsequent reassignments and ultimately leaving the Army. The professionals at HRC at Ft. Knox checked his personnel records and located the award order and issued the medal. Jerry Cecil '66 Society president and CASA presented the medal to Cannavo on behalf of Secretary Esper.

The evening concluded with a raffle for football tickets provided by the AOG and the singing of the Alma Mater.

Photo: The oldest and youngest grads Charles Williamson '46, and Jason Halligan '05

More photos: L-R Jerry Cecil, '66, Sue Cannavo, Frank Cannavo '70 and Jason Halligan '05 who read the citation for Frank's Bronze Star | Jerry Cecil '66 and Frank Cannavo'70 | Colonel Andrew Cecil '96 guest speaker

WPS of Taiwan FIRST Founders Day

WPS of Taiwan FIRST Founders DayThe West Point Society of Taiwan (WPST) held its first ever Founders Day Luncheon on March 9, 2019 at the American Club in Taipei, Taiwan. In attendance at WPST Founders Day were a diverse group of seven Taiwan graduates, seven U.S. graduates, five Class of 2020 cadets in the Semester-Abroad Program, and two former P's.

WPS of Mississippi Sponsors Diversity Conference

WPS of Mississippi Sponsors Diversity ConferenceThe West Point Society of Mississippi was proud to serve as a proud conference partner for the West Point Leadership, Ethics, and Diversity Conference on Friday 1 March 1, 2019. The conference was a huge success. Approximately 300 Jackson Public Schools (JPS) JROTC cadets and educators participated in several exercises where they were challenged with ethical and moral dilemmas. The enthusiasm and engagement throughout the day clearly made this a worthwhile outreach event.

WPS of Denver Army Navy Watch Parties

The West Point Society of Denver watched the Army Football team BEAT Navy on December 8, 2018. The society has joint viewings with their Navy counterparts at two locations: The Sports Column in Denver – where about 350 people were present an at the Budweiser Center near Fort Collins – where about 150 showed up. While all had a great time, as the USMA '83 demonstrate in the photo, jointly the group collected over a $1,100 and a boxful of toys to support the local Marine Toys for Tots annual program.

WPS of the Mid-South Host the Glee Club

On the 100th Anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I, the West Point Glee Club traveled to Memphis, TN, to pay tribute to community veterans of all U.S. military services. Proudly hosted by the West Point Society of the Mid-South and their Parents Club, the Glee Club actively sought to achieve their motto: "No fun without music, no music without fun!"

While in Memphis (when they weren't studying) they were constantly on the go, singing for the FedEx Headquarters, visiting the famous Beale Street and the Pyramid overlooking the Mississippi River, recording at a local studio, signing their names on the stone fence at Graceland, stopping by the National Civil Rights Museum, and performing the National Anthem for the professional basketball game between the Memphis Grizzlies the Philadelphia 76ers.

On Veterans Day, under the direction of Director Connie Chase, the West Point Glee Club performed a phenomenal concert. They inspired an audience of 800 with their professional versatility, musical talents, and patriotic enthusiasm. The highlight for many an Old Grad was the invitation to join the Glee Club on stage to sing the Alma Mater. The Society's oldest grad in the Memphis area Robert Wheaton '55, a former Glee Club member, helped the group sing the first note. At the end of the concert, thunderous applause was amply rewarded with a tremendous encore. Later that evening, the local CBS Channel 3 News TV station provided excellent coverage of the Glee Club's performance.

Every volunteer who supported the Glee Club tour enjoyed making life-long connections with "their" cadets. The Glee Club cadets, as exemplary ambassadors for the Academy, helped to convey the finest image and ideals of West Point and the United States Army to thousands of veterans and other citizens throughout the Mid-South. Their positive impact on national security will be felt for years to come.

WPS of Annapolis Hosts 31st Annual Winter Social

WPS of Annapolis Hosts 31st Annual Winter SocialThe West Point Society of Annapolis (WPSOA) hosted its 31st Annual Winter Social on December 2, 2018. Approximately 32 attendees, including six exchange cadets who are completing their semester at the Naval Academy, gathered at the Severn Inn, Annapolis, MD. In addition to the fellowship that good company, food and drink bring, the highlight of the evening was the signing of WPSOA's "Beat Navy" banner by the exchange cadets, a remembrance tradition that has continued for 23 years.

Photo: Eexchange cadets after signing the "Beat Navy" banner